The person who jumped off the Mandarin Oriental hotel in New York City last month has been identified as 17-year-old Noah Legaspi, an aspiring fashion designer from New Jersey.
Confirming his identity: Family members confirmed Legaspi’s identity when speaking to multiple news outlets, including the New York Daily News and the New York Post, on Aug. 23.
Legaspi’s family also confirmed the news in a Facebook post, writing, “Hi all, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that Noah has unfortunately passed away. We received word last night and are in the process of mourning. We, the Legaspi family, appreciate all the time and dedication that was put into finding Noah. The support was insurmountable and for that we are grateful. Call your loved ones, tell them you love them. Hug them tight and never take life for granted.”
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What happened: The incoming Colonia High School senior took a taxi from New Jersey to New York and leaped 750 feet to his death from the 21st floor of the Columbus Circle high-rise at around 9 p.m. on Aug. 17, according to police. Reports noted that the teenager’s body was split in half after hitting a glass awning.
A security camera reportedly filmed Legaspi entering the building and riding a service elevator to the floor where he jumped off. Investigators believe he entered the building via a loading dock area.
He did not have an ID with him at the time and remained a John Doe following the incident until authorities confirmed his identity with his parents on Aug. 21.
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Details before his death: Legaspi’s family told the New York Daily News that they last heard from him after dropping him off at his ex-girlfriend’s house on Aug. 17 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
They were only informed about his whereabouts when his ex-girlfriend called his mother. Prior to this, Legaspi had FaceTimed his ex-girlfriend while at the Mandarin Oriental, telling her, “Look at this pretty view” and “I love you,” Legaspi’s older brother, Luis, recalled to the New York Post. Legaspi’s family believe the teen was not able to handle their breakup.
Reporting to the police: Lesgaspi’s family reportedly looked for him in Avenel, New Jersey, hoping to find the description of a “tall building” she provided them. They later reported the New Jersey teen as missing to the police.
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What they are saying: Legaspi’s family described him as a skilled tailor, volleyball player and bass guitar player. They also shared that he was battling mental health issues.
Luis told the New York Post that while his younger brother brought smiles to other people’s faces, he also “battled his own demons and insecurities.”
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“He always felt that he wasn’t deserving of love and attention and it really sucks because I don’t know where it came from,” Luis said.
Legaspi’s family told his ex-girlfriend that they “don’t want her to have the impression that we’re upset and we’re blaming her” and also said that “it was nobody’s fault.”
If you or people you know are at risk of self-harm, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24-hour support at 1-800-273-8255.